Category: Uncategorized (Page 1 of 26)

Srini’s Tech Tip: Excel – Find and Replace Names on Multiple Sheet Tabs

Consider a situation where you have a workbook with multiple sheets. Imagine having 10, 15 or 20 worksheets where a spelling or name change must be performed.  Such a task would be very tedious if you were to perform the change one sheet at a time. The Find and Replace function has a setting where you can perform the change on ALL instances in the workbook.

In our example below, there are multiple sheets in a single workbook (2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023).  The objective is to change the spelling of “B & B INC.” on all the sheets to “Books and Beyond.”

Steps to Perform (Find and Replace)

1.  Press CTRL + H to get the Find and Replace dialog box

2.  In the Find What field, type the original name to be replaced – in this example, B & B INC.

3.  In the Replace With field, type the new name – in this example, Books and Beyond (case sensitive)

4.  Click on the Options button, which shows more options for replacing

5.  For Within: field, select the dropdown and choose workbook

6.  Leave the two check boxes unchecked
(Reason:  We are not trying to “find” B & B INC. in a particular case, and leaving the match entire cell contents unchecked will look for partial names or entries)

7.  Click on Replace All

8.  You now have a notification that 8 replacements were made, for this example

The Consultant’s Corner: Skills – The Hard and Soft

There’s been much research and banter in the job market about the looming “skills gap.” Some of that research lauds “hard” skills, while other research emphasizes “soft” skills, leaving many to ponder: “what’s the difference?”

Let’s start by defining the word, skill. Simply put, skill is what you can do with what you know. More formally, skill is defined as “the ability to do something well; expertise” (Oxford dictionary). When we attend to hard skill and soft skill, these are differentiated by utility.

Most often, hard skills can be correlated with technical proficiency. These skills are usually job role and industry-specific. For example, as a consultant, I need to be able to identify root cause of concerns, design initiatives to mitigate and extinguish concerns, and evaluate outcomes. These hard skills are germane to my industry. I gained knowledge about these thematic areas through education, then learned how to effectively apply that knowledge through practice, subsequently honing the skill.

Oxford dictionary defines soft skills as “personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people.” Soft skills are more general in nature and associated with the cognitive, emotional and social attributes that facilitate productive interpersonal interaction. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), “soft skills—which are needed to effectively communicate, problem-solve, collaborate and organize—are becoming more important for success as the workplace evolves socially and technologically.”

Top 10 soft skills for 2022 (Source:

  • Communication
  • Innovation
  • Creativity
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Collaboration
  • Adaptability
  • Leadership
  • Time Management
  • Work Ethic
  • Listening

Across the enterprise, there are a wide variety of hard and soft skills being deployed to help Duke accomplish the organization’s vision and mission. To gain a broader insight on the importance of developing and maturing soft skills, see HR’s Hard Challenge: When Employees Lack Soft Skills (

For support with development and maturation of soft skills, visit Training | Human Resources ( for a full list of leadership and professional development offerings that can help. If you are interested in developing soft skills with intact teams, contact Consulting Services at Learning & Organization Development.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for What You Need at Work

Asking for what we need at work can feel intimidating and risky, especially if you are a woman, a person of color or LGBTQ. But the danger in avoiding these important conversations is that we eventually become less engaged and productive at work, and inevitably begin looking around for the next best thing. Addressing these issues head-on, and verbalizing the things we need to grow as professionals, are the keys to being successful (important) and happy (even more important).

It’s worth noting that your request is more likely to be granted if you consider your manager’s point of view and approach the situation from a place of clarity and mindfulness. Of course, you can’t always get what you want, but there’s no shame in asking for it…and no shame in not getting it either. Here are some tactics to help you gain the confidence needed to prepare for a hard conversation:

  • Get clear about what you want. Before you approach your boss or manager, you should spend some time figuring out exactly what it is you want. Know exactly what you want to get out of the conversation, how far you are willing to go and where you’re willing to compromise. Figure out ahead of time what your priorities are and make them clear.
  • Be positive. Talking about what you appreciate or love about your job right out of the gate immediately demonstrates your commitment, and will likely make it easier to ask for more. If you start by making demands or pointing out how you’ve been underappreciated and wronged, it’s easy to immediately create a negative dynamic. Attempting to establish a positive vibe and create a sense of cooperation will make other people feel it is in their best interest to support you.
  • Outline the benefits for your audience. When framing your request, it can be easy to get caught up in why you want something and forget about why it could also be great for your manager. Put some thought into what the benefits are to your manager or colleague if your request is granted.
  • Follow up after allowing time to process. It’s very possible that your request won’t be immediately granted during the initial meeting, and that’s OK. If  your request is rejected, ask follow-up questions to better understand the “why” behind the no. This will help you get to yes next time.

There will be times when you do everything right and still don’t get what you want or feel you deserve. At this point, you must assess whether or not you can continue to stay engaged at a level that feels fulfilling to you. Sometimes, the answer may be to move on. The good news is that it’s often much easier to make this decision after you’ve had the tough conversations: and by figuring out how to take this first step, you’re already halfway there.


Harvard Business Review (2022, August 5) Deborah Grayson Riegel: Ask for What You Need at Work
Forbes (2018, August 9) Sarah Sheehan: How to Ask for What You Need at Work
Financial Management Magazine (2021, September 10) Hannah Pitstick: 5 Tips for Asking for What You Want in Today’s Workplace

The Platinum Rule: Treat Others How THEY Want to Be Treated

“Treat others as you would like to be treated.” We’ve all heard the phrase. It’s a splendid concept except for one thing: Everyone is different, and the truth is that in many cases what you’d want done to you is different from what your partner, employee, customer, investor, spouse, or child would want done to them. What appears to be empathy is, in fact, very self-serving. By treating people the way we want to be treated, we are most likely treating them inappropriately.

In our modern workplace, with all our different preferences, cultural backgrounds, professional disciplines, ages, genders, sexual orientations, etc., treating others as you would like to be treated isn’t always the best option. Although it can be helpful to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, doing so can actually lead to making assumptions based on your own perspective — not theirs.

It’s time to adopt the “Platinum” Rule: Treat others as they would like to be treated. This should be the fundamental maxim for effective relationships. All it takes to put this new mindset into practice is understanding, curiosity, and compromise.

  • Remember that your way is not the best or only way: We have an innate tendency to become enamored with our own choices. Remember that there are many alternatives available to reach the same destination. Provide people with the autonomy that facilitates their self-expression. This type of experimentation will facilitate better engagement and maybe even improved results. When we rely too heavily on our own perspectives, we miss out on the diverse and important viewpoints around us.
  • Challenge your assumptions: We are all a unique mix of genetics, experiences, and desires. Generalizing other people and their characters can be very dangerous — and more often than not, our generalizations are inaccurate. When you find yourself making assumptions about another person, ask:
    • Where are these beliefs coming from?
    • What information am I missing?
    • Why do I think my assumptions are true?
    • Are there any alternative explanations or possibilities?
    • Are my assumptions based off my own experiences and understanding of the world, and if so, am I being biased?
  • Ask questions and listen: The best way to really find out how someone else would like to be treated is to simply ask. Make it a point to understand what your direct reports and your team need from you. Likewise, don’t be afraid to let others know directly about your own preferences. Assumptions can be misleading. Disclosing our preferences and asking more questions can help eliminate misunderstandings. Some sample questions to ask might be:
    • How do you prefer to communicate – phone, email or jabber?
    • In what format do you need the information about this project?
  • Learn your team’s strengths: Identifying and leveraging the strengths of the people around us is critical to our success as well as the success of the team. This can be achieved by asking your team members when they feel “in the zone” at the office and pose similar queries to their closest colleagues/team members. You can also use strengths-based assessment tools to better inform the conversation.

Recognizing people for who they are and giving them what they need is the cornerstone of building stronger relationships in our personal and professional lives. Adopting the Platinum Rule and realizing its potential by focusing on others will be an invaluable exercise for ourselves, our teams, our organizations, and our communities.


Harvard Business Review (2022, August 2) Irina Cozma: It’s Time to Stop Following “The Golden Rule”
Financial Post (2013, November 15) Craig Dowden: Want to Be Liked as a Leader? Stop Treating Others as You Would Want to Be Treated
CEO World Magazine (2019, June 26) Shelley Flett: Treat Others the Way They Want to Be Treated – Not How You Want to Be Treated
Inc. (2016, March 17) Peter Economy: How the Platinum Rule Trumps the Golden Rule Every Time

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